ddHiFi TC25B is a tiny, USB-C portable DAC with a 2,5mm headphone output. It is priced at 39,99USD.
Sound quality for the price
ddHifi makes an outstanding first impression.
The package is made of authentic, conifer wood. It smells terrific. Inside, you’ll find a decorative scrap of paper and a simple card with warranty info, all websites, and social media. That box makes a really premium feel. It’s great to see that level of attention to detail in a product that cheap.
Build quality is also fantastic. The whole device is tiny, maybe even too small. I almost lost it twice during testing. I do wonder how ddHiFi managed to pack all the necessary stuff inside.
TC25B is pretty heavy, but it only makes a better feeling in-hand, and that’s because it is made of steel.
The USB-C port is very well-planned, so the entire contraption is a very rigid one. I’m not afraid of breaking it, even during the bike trip. The only thing that bothers me (but I don’t really care about that) is that the inscriptions are getting scratched off pretty quickly.
This part of the review will be a little different because I do not consider TC25B as a device that is here to upgrade the sound quality at all. But don’t get me wrong, it sounds definitely better than the regular phone. The most significant advantage is the 2,5mm output. If you’re using a DAP or DAC with a 2,5mm output and have a cable terminated with it, you probably have to use the 2,5mm->3,5mm adapter and then 3,5mm->USB-C. It isn’t the most comfortable solution. Just look at the pic below to compare these two options.
But okay, I have to write something about the sound, right? Here we go then.
Comparing the ddHiFi to the phone put it pretty simple. That’s a considerable upgrade. The whole sound is way more saturated and exact, with richer bass, also nicely textured and pretty speedy. The midrange can be a little harsh for some, but less than straight from phone headphone output or the cheapest adapters. The treble is the weakest point, but it still beats most of the phones with minimal effort. It’s delicately smoothed, but sometimes can be too sharp and punchy, especially with the bright headphones.
The soundstage isn’t also the broadest one, but it is a pleasant surprise after a pure phone signal. When the sound straight from the phone is just one wave that goes into the ear, TC25B makes it possible to hear some shapes’ outline and directions. It is only the seed, not the whole fruit, but it is still incredible considering its price.
It’s important to remember, that we’re now living in the era where the 3.5mm jack outputs in our smartphones are either vanishing, or have vanished already. That’s why it’s tricky to review the sound of this little champ, since there is literally nothing to compare it to at this point.
Anyhow, just plug it into your smartphone and you’ll have a very solid sound performance in such a tiny footprint, that it’s actually ridiculous. I’m glad to see ddHifi doing this kind of devices, that are unbeatable in terms of the size and pure functionality in real life.
The ddHiFi TC25B offers an outstanding combination of sound quality, a tiny body, and excellent build quality. It puts more life into the earphones, with great bass and basic soundstage. Even if you have an external DAC or DAP, remember that you can forget to charge the battery. This little one can save your life in such a situation, and you can keep it in your wallet.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Bqeyz Spring 2, Craft Ears Four, Moondrop SSP
- Sources– Xiaomi Mi9, Samsung S9+, Poco X3.